What I Learned From My Weekend Social Media Detox.

No-Facebook Weekends

In this day and age, we live in a constant and consistent updatable (if there’s even such a word) lifestyle of connection and being “in-the-know”. The moment we feel as though we’re missing out on something important, we feel the pinch. Similar to what addicts feel when drugs and/or sex are out of their reach.

In other words, we are suffering from what is commonly known today as fear of missing out or FOMO, as the youth of the modern techno-age calls it.

I have to admit, though, that I’ve never been one to fear that I’m missing out on anything. Whatever my family and friends wanted to do, they could just go ahead with it. I didn’t need any announcements but I did have the habit of checking into Social Media to see what’s going on and the news was readily and easily available on Facebook and Instagram. Why I didn’t need people informing me was that I could check it for myself.

And that was the mistake. 

You see, checking in to Facebook constantly and seeing updates from your peers on what they were doing at that very moment was poisonous. And it is worse if you happen to be doing nothing at that time. You start questioning your productivity (or lack of it) and why you weren’t doing anything particularly important, unlike your friend(s).Not that you’ll crash and burn in Hell for being a couch potato, but now that the thought or suggestion is implanted in your mind, you are indeed wondering what the heck are you doing, stuck at home in front of the television, watching reruns of Gossip Girls.

Not that you’ll crash and burn in Hell for being a couch potato, but now that the thought or suggestion is implanted in your mind, you are indeed wondering what the heck are you doing, stuck at home in front of the television, watching reruns of Gossip Girls.

For the Workaholic Couples

You and your boyfriend or girlfriend (or spouse, if you are married) have been together for a very long time but here’s the catch: you two are way too busy to clock in some vacation time. You’re chasing that elusive promotion while your other half is busy trying to close as many deals as possible to reach the highest commission tier.

Then there is the sweet and lovely couple whom you both got to know recently at a reunion dinner. While they are enjoying a wine-tasting event in Napa Valley after having stuffed their faces with gelato in Italy, there you are, pigging out on the couch with your significant other and watching re-runs of Breaking Bad on the television.

For the Closet Gym Junkies

For as long as you can remember, ladies, you’ve always wanted to look like Megan Fox (for the lack of a better choice in Hollywood) or Ryan Reynolds, for the dudes. You’ve only ever dreamed of flaunting those sexy curves in that black strapless number during a black-tie event. Or you want to make the girls swoon when you flex those biceps.

That was your fantasy. Reality socked you in the face like a stray paintball and you wake up many years later, struggling to get to work on time and again, struggling to leave work early enough to hit the treadmill running. What happened between then and now? Why have you swapped your ideals for what you thought was your dream job churning out feature pieces at the desk?

That was what you wanted. You wanted a job that paid you decently enough to treat yourself once in awhile. You didn’t mind that the job made you sit all day, every day while poring over all the materials relevant to your job. But now you fear that you won’t be able to fit into the dress you bought for your friend’s wedding.

And guys, the small fry you used to relentlessly tease during your high school days is no longer small. He’s now a towering, six-footer, all abs and no flab. Are you still lifting weights to keep your frame in check or are you too busy running errands for your wife with three kids in tow?

For All the Single Ladies

Eating straight out of Ben & Jerry’s on Valentine’s Day isn’t going to help you. Unless you totally enjoy being on your own and wouldn’t mind marrying yourself (seems like the trend is slowly picking up), then by all means.Otherwise, you should hit the ‘Stop’ button on your Netflix, switch off your laptop and grab your car keys. It’s time to agitate the gravel and go out with your girlfriends. Guys, you should try to encourage your partners to get out more often too!

Otherwise, you should hit the ‘Stop’ button on your Netflix, switch off your laptop and grab your car keys. It’s time to agitate the gravel and go out with your girlfriends. Guys, you should try to encourage your partners to get out more often too!

The one who used to be date all the wrong guys finally ended up with the right one. If you’re wondering how on earth did she do that, she did one thing that you did not. She went out and made all the mistakes, and quite possibly learnt from her mistakes to snag her Mr Right. If she could do that, you could do the same too. Yes, I strongly believe that there is someone for everyone but I’m aware that time plays a role as well.

Still, it beats sitting at home, crying into a handful of Kleenexes during a love scene in Kate & Leopold. Or it certainly is better than you sobbing (mentally) in bed as you scroll through Facebook and seeing that even your worst enemy is now happily engaged to the man of her life. Please don’t do that to yourself.

So what did I do?

Yep, you guessed it.

I’ve decided that enough was enough. I’m getting off the social media train. I can’t really deactivate it since my job requires that I have an active Facebook account but I can start small by limiting my Facebook time on weekends. I refuse to check it, not add comments; just not have anything to do with it. What helped was the placement of the app. Certainly not on my mobile phone’s home screen so that limits the temptation to access it. I might uninstall the app altogether once it becomes a habit and I’d only use the mobile version online if I have to.

I’ve tried it this weekend and it’s great! I don’t feel threatened by my friends’ active social lives and I don’t feel unproductive. I’ve published a casual book review on my personal blog, saved another one in draft to be published tomorrow, cleared out some easy tasks for the upcoming work week, played a couple of satisfying hours of Priston Tale with my husband, entertained my two cats Loki and Chibi by chasing them around the house and finished reading  Married Lovers by Jackie Collins. Yes, it was a bountiful weekend!

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